Wednesday, April 24, 2013

ANZAC DAY - New Zealand

Hi there

Today, New Zealand-time, it's 25 April, ANZAC Day.  ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps.  In 1915, Kiwi and Aussie troops stormed the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey (then known as the Ottoman Empire).  They were severely outnumbered, and many, many were killed. -   They dug themselves down into trenches for months, dying of war wounds, dysentery, lack of nutrients and food.  Many disastrous decisions were made by the officers of the time.

ANZAC Day was originally to remember those brave men who died at Gallipoli but now the day is to honour all our (and Australia's) war dead, including those from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iran-Iraq, and Afghanistan.  Today marks the day our Afghanistan soldiers return home.  Of course, ANZAC Day also honours all 'returning' servicer folk and, as well, our peace and reconstruction teams stationed around the Pacific basin and further afield.

Our most famous warrior since WWII is Willie Apiata who received the Victoria Cross, the first time the honour has been given to any kiwi since WWII.  Apiata received the award for bravery under fire in the Afghanistan conflict when he carried a wounded comrade through enemy fire. SEE PICTURE BELOW.,

In a recent survey, ANZAC Day was picked as the day that means the most to New Zealanders (even coming in front of our national day, Waitangi Day).  The day is commemorated with a holiday and there are ANZAC dawn services throughout the country.  I do not believe in war but I do believe in remembering the war dead.

Lest we forget.

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